Recap: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Premiere Episode

Written by Marley Ghizzone

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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Plot Summary

After being held for 15 years as the prisoner of an apocalypse cult, Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper) decides to move to New York. Her main mission – pay rent, find a job, and kiss a boy.

The trailers for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt seemed to be on the other side of ludicrous. I laughed, a lot, but figured that all the jokes could be in the trailer. I was also nervous that the idea was just too out there and crazy to center a show on, even if it’s a comedy. But like Grandfather Disguisey says, “it’s so crazy, it might just work!”

Ellie Kemper is an effusive actress. She is able to bring Kimmy Schmidt to life, giving her depth within the first couple of minutes. Kimmy, thanks to Kemper, is not a fool. She may still have an eighth grade mindset (which is last time she was in the real world) but she isn’t stupid. Kimmy Schmidt is the positive, upbeat person we all wish we can be. She loves the world and is ready for anything.

Photo Credit: Eric Liebowitz courtesy of Netflix
Photo Credit: Eric Liebowitz courtesy of Netflix

This could easily could be a mean-spirited show — cynically following a dopey yet lovable main character. It could have made her stupid and outrageously naive. It could delivered a very sexist depiction of women, hiding under a guise of easy laughs because Kimmy’s so out of touch with the world. When I saw the trailers and had these foreboding thoughts, I didn’t realize who created the show.

Huzzah for Tina Fey, because, obviously, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is the complete opposite of every callous thing the show could have been. Fey is dynamite at making strong, but hilarious female characters. In the first scene, when the Indiana ‘mole women’ are rescued, the audience is hit with a comment on how news stories are framed, with a headline stating “THREE WHITE WOMEN FOUND and a hispanic woman.”

One of the best lines from the premiere episode is delivered by Matt Laurer. It comes after one of the mole women, Cyndee (Sara Chase) explains how she was captured by the cult leader, explaining she went to his van because she didn’t want to be rude to which Williams replies, “I’m always amazed at what women will do because they are afraid of being rude.”

That’s it. That is when I fell absolutely in love. That line may seem like a throwaway. It might even sound rude and judgemental. But it comments on a larger issue. Women, for a very long time, have been taught that being polite and not causing a fuss is the way to go. It is what we are meant to do and how we are meant to act. I won’t go into a long explanation, you can just trust me on this. Having a comedy, that puts a spotlight on women, people of color, and the LGBT community in a positive yet still downright funny way is a saving grace for this series.

Photo Credit: Eric Liebowitz courtesy of Netflix
Photo Credit: Eric Liebowitz courtesy of Netflix

Yet, this show isn’t about pontificating. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is interesting, captivating, and funny. But while you are laughing, you will also be learning little lessons, seeing the world a little differently, and hopefully realizing some changes that should and need to occur.

Unfortunately, this writer cannot binge the entire series tonight, but as soon as I can, I will watch the next 12 episodes immediately.  Watch Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt right now, you won’t regret it.

Rating: 9 out of 10

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is currently streaming on Netflix.

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Marley Ghizzone is the current music editor and former Breaking News Editor for The Pop Break. Aside from writing news, Marley reviews television shows and the odd film. Pop culture is her drug of choice and her talents include binge watching entire seasons of TV shows obsessively fast and crying over fictional characters. Marley is a graduate of Rowan University. Follow her on twitter: @marleyveee